Let me start off by saying that today was one of those grooming nightmares I used to have when I was pregnant come true.
I thought that today would never end.
It started off simple enough.
It ended pretty calmly too.
It was the middle of the day that was a nightmare.
Today's 'What would you do?' is not about how would you groom a dog, it is about whether to groom the dog at all.
We had two Standard Poodles on the books today.
We have been grooming them for a long time.
Jess grooms the female and I groom the male.
The male has not been doing very well lately.
He has been unsteady on his legs for about a year now, but he was still doing pretty good for the groom.
Late last year he suddenly rejected t he HV dryer.
Ugh...not being able to HV a Standard Poodle that gets a Lamb cut is a killer.
I can't believe that I groomed for 15 years without a HV dryer.
Anyway, I was getting ready to dry my first appointment when my husband came in the grooming room with the female Standard Poodle.
"You better come up and checkout the other Standard," he told me, with a concerned look on his face.
"His owner said that he can barely walk."
The owner was outside trying to get the male standard out of her car.
I walked out to her car to check on the dog.
He looked fine, but was really unsteady on his legs.
He had been having a lot of trouble with his back legs.
Standing there looking at the dog and talking to the owner my mind is racing.
Should I groom this dog or send it home?
"Just do what you can on him," the owner is telling me.
"We know he can't stand very well, and he can't walk on tile floors anymore."
Have I mentioned yet that this Standard is almost 17 years old?
So, I ask...what would you do?
He is a Standard.
He needs to be groomed.
He is not a short haired dog that you can just stop grooming for his remaining time.
Doesn't he deserve to be clean and comfortable like he is used to?
Do I take the chance and pray that his time does not come to an end while I am grooming him?
So, what did I do?
I picked him up and carried him into the shop...and I prayed.
I prayed that I was doing the right thing.
I prayed that the grooming would not be too much for him.
I prayed that I could get him back home as quickly as possible.
I also had a plan.
I told the owner that I would no longer be shaving his feet.
I also told the owner that a shorter cut would be better at this point in the dogs life.
I put him on my table and clipped his face.
He no longer likes his face fooled with, so I got it as clean as I could, as quickly as I could.
He is the kind of old dog that refuses to sit until he practically falls down.
You try and try to get him to sit and rest but he won't.
After fighting it for most of the bath, his legs eventually gave out and he sat down for awhile.
I bathed him as quickly as I could with warm shampoo and a toasty rinse.
My son was drying my 8am appointment, but I had to kick him out of the bathing room, because the sound of the HV was upsetting this old guy.
Since he no longer tolerates the HV, I planed to wrap him in a towel, put him in his kennel to rest, and put the kennel dryer on him for two 10 minute intervals while I finished my first appointment.
All was going just how I planned until my blade sharpening guy showed up.
I was only half finished my first appointment, but had to talk to the sharpening guy about my daughters clippers.
That took 15 minutes.
Then my Dad walked in.
I had to help him fix his cell phone that didn't seem to want to make calls or except them.
How do you nicely rush your 84 year old father out the door, because you have to get back to work?
Another 15 minutes gone.
I could have been finished my first dog by now.
Why do my plans always get messed up?
He was almost out the door when he remembered that he wanted to tell me about losing his electricity the other day.
I hope I wasn't too rude as I stood there smiling and nodding my head at everything he was telling me, while my brain was desperately begging him to go home and we would talk about this when I see him later.
Meanwhile Jess stuck her head out of the grooming room door to tell me that the Standard was getting upset. :/
When it rains, it pours!
I ended up putting my half finished, first appointment away so that I could finish the Standard and get him back home.
I can't begin to tell you how much I hate to be interrupted when finishing a dog.
I really can't stand when I have to put one away unfinished.
Even though I had let the Standard dry half way in the kennel, it still seemed to take forever to hand dry him.
And, he was still curly! :(
I thought that I would never finish him.
He looks like my grooms from when I first started grooming.
When I was kennel drying every dog.
Don't look too closely.
It is definitely not one of my best grooms.
He has lost so much body mass.
I felt like I was clipping and scissoring bones.
His owners are used to fuller legs, so I did a #4F on the body and a 3/4 blade on the legs.
After I finished the Standard, I got my first appointment out and started finishing him again.
Again I had to stop when the owner came for the Standards.
I only talked to the owner for about 5 minutes then carried the Standard out to his car.
The poor man was tearing up.
He knows that his Poodle is on borrowed time. :(
As I walked back into the shop, the owner of my first appointment was there.
She had not waited for my phone call.
She was not happy that her dog was not done.
My explanation of getting behind because of the old Standard did not go over well.
She could not wait for the 10 minutes it would take me to finish up her dog.
She said that she would send someone else to pick him up.
Not a good start to the day. :(
The rest of the day did go better.
Would you have groomed the dog?
Will I groom him again?
I won't know till that day comes.
Happy Grooming, MFF